Tag Archives: Study

How To Stay Motivated

There are only a few weeks left of the semester and, if you are anything like me, you are worn out and exhausted from everything going on right now. It is tempting to just lay in bed all day, watch Netflix (before they take all your favorites off), and eat chicken nuggets from Chik-Fil-A. However, you must keep focused and push through to the end of the semester! Here are a few ways to do so.

student with books
“Make sure you take time to yourself to breathe and relax in order to stay sane.” Photo from: http://footage.framepool.com/shotimg/562054221-worry-ambition-pile-library.jpg

Remember why you are getting an education. Maybe you have a dream job that you are working towards. Maybe you want to meet new people. Maybe you want to be able to support a family one day. No matter who you are, we are all here because of a specific reason. We have to push through to reach those goals!

Remember that there are only a few weeks left and you are going home! In a few weeks, you will be able to lie on the beach with the sun beaming down on you. I don’t know about you, but keeping this thought in mind is helping me get through the end of the school year!

Take time to yourself. End of semester= busyness. Make sure you take time to yourself to breathe and relax in order to stay sane. Read a book, sleep, write in a journal. Do whatever you need to just relax.

Stay ahead of your assignments and studying. Since it is the end of the year, professors want to make sure they get in all the work they can before finals. Start your assignments and studying early so you aren’t feeling crammed and rushed when the due dates start rolling in. This will make for a low-stress end of the semester.

A look into a tarantula’s sex life

Tarantulas, according to a 2013 review in the journal Arachnology, are the largest and longest living spiders in the world. Nelson Ferretti, a tarantula expert with the the National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Argentina and lead author of the review says there are nearly a thousand species alive today, and most mate in the spring and summer; although some species are known to mate only in the winter.

According to the study co-author Fernando Pérez-Miles, an entomologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, after male spiders are born and travel into the adult stage of their lives, they insert their two pedipalps or the small appendages near the front of their head with sperm. Although the insertion of the sperm is time and energy consuming, males can usually mate with multiple females with just one insertion..

During the mating season, “charged” males, or males who have gone through the insertion process, will leave the nest, so to speak, in order to find approachable females.  The male tarantulas will focus on the female’s pheromones, or chemical scents, though “it’s unclear if only receptive females produce male-attracting pheromones.” When a male discovers a “connection” or a female that has the appropriate pheromones, the male and female with mate.

Tarantula_Pair5
“Depending on the species, males may engage in a range of different moves, the most widespread being papal drumming and body vibrations.”

According to Ferretti, “depending on the species, males may engage in a range of different moves, the most widespread being papal drumming and body vibrations.”
If the female enjoys the feeling, she will respond by tapping her front legs, letting him know that she wants him, and to direct him toward her burrow. However, in other species, the female will move towards the male instead, leaving her burrow behind. When the time has come, the pair will come face-to-face, showing and elevating their bodies and front legs to each other.

In other species, the tradition is different. The male will initiate spasmodic beats on the female with his second pair of legs, which is thought to put the female at ease and relax her fangs. In most species, the males have specialized spurs that can clasp onto the female’s fangs which elevate them into the correct immobilizing positions and to prevent bites.

Once the pair are ready, the male will place his charged pedipalps into the female’s genital opening, one to five time. When he is finished, he will leave to find other mates, that is, if he’s “lucky enough to avoid getting eaten, which is common,” Ferretti says. However, this only occurs if the male attempts to mate with a female without courting her first, that is, entering her burrow too soon or doesn’t leave fast enough after mating. Although, luckily enough for the males, mating leaves the female immobile for a small amount of time, allowing the male to get away if necessary.

Instead of finding alien life, should we be hiding from it?

A recent study suggests a method for hiding from aliens. This study, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, comes at a time when most papers and study are related to how to find alien life.

A great deal of our quest for Earth-like planets depends on transiting planets. Transiting planets travel in front of their host star in a manner in which the transit can be seen from our viewpoint. The travel of the planet in front of the host star makes the light from that star diminish or glimmer, and we can utilize that to determine a wide range of information about far off planets — including how sustainable they might be for life.

Should we hide from the aliens? Graphic from Andreas Rocha
Should we hide from the aliens? Graphic from Andreas Rocha

A few scientists have proposed that we ought to hope that Earth is a transiting planet from the viewpoint of another planet that contains intelligent life. At the end of the day, our best endeavor for discovering alien life may be trusting that aliens are utilizing similar techniques of planetary detection that we are, and that the movement of Earth in front of the sun is visible with their telescopes.

Graduate student Alex Teachey and Professor David Kipping, both from Columbia University in the City of New York, attempted to figure out how much laser light would be required to cover the diminishing or glimmering light brought about by the transit of Earth.

As indicated by their calculations, it would take about 10 constant hours of shining a 30 MW laser once every year to shield the transit signal in discernible light. Reproducing each wavelength of light released by the sun would require around 250 MW of power.

Teachey said in a statement that “Alternatively, we could cloak only the atmospheric signatures associated with biological activity, such as oxygen, which is achievable with a peak laser power of just 160 kW per transit. To another civilization, this should make the Earth appear as if life never took hold on our world.”

There’s still a major, interdisciplinary deliberation about whether we should try to contact alien life from other planets. This study will become one of many that detail whether or not we should be hiding from alien life, instead of if we should find it and try to communicate with them.

New nicotine vaccine could help smokers quit

According to data collected by the American Cancer Society, 70 percent of smokers want to quit altogether, 7 percent actually succeed at quitting smoking their first time, and 3.5 percent quit smoking cold turkey. These statistics are already extremely unsettling. Even though 40 percent of smokers tried to quit in 2015, half of smokers will relapse into smoking while intoxicated with alcohol.

Graphic from http://rcnky.com/
50 percent of smokers will not succeed in quitting on their first try. Graphic from http://rcnky.com/

These statistics even come into play with individuals who are underage. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of smokers began smoking before the age of 18, while 90 percent began smoking before the age of 21. 3,900 teens begin smoking each day, totaling 600,000 teens each year. What’s disturbing is that 11 percent of middle school students reported having smoked. That means 11 percent of pre-teens between the ages of 11 and 14.

A successful vaccine to assist individuals in quitting smoking for good has been difficult to discover. According to a report in ACS’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a new vaccine for quitting smoking has been designed.

Over half of smokers who want to quit will not succeed in quitting their first time. There are several ways to quit smoking available. Smokers can quit cold turkey, use behavioral therapy, nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, spray, and lozenges), and medicine like Zyban and Chantix. These tools are readily available, but aren’t always effective, and may even have undesirable side effects.

This new vaccine design would target the nicotine molecule directly. Two individuals participated in a clinical study of the vaccine which ultimately failed. However, the clinical study provided worthwhile pieces of information, that scientists could improve upon.

The trials indicated that the individuals who produced the most elevated amounts of anti-nicotine antibodies were more likely to refrain from smoking for more than six months. Kim D. Janda, Ph.D., and fellow researchers from The Scripps Research Institute wanted to expand on this discovery.

The team designed a new vaccine that could raise the amount of antibodies that could attach to nicotine molecules.

While testing in mice, they discovered that the vaccine deferred the effects of nicotine after injection within the initial 10 minute period. Additionally, they discovered that the mice treated with the vaccine had lower concentrations of nicotine in their brains, which is where nicotine has its effects. The team expressed that their future endeavors will concentrate on further perfecting the formula of the vaccine to prepare it for potential clinical studies.

A new study definitively finds binge-drinking leads to a longer life

Here’s some news that you can drink to. An extra cheers to the weekend that ends on Sunday and starts back up again on Tuesday here at Radford University, and several colleges across the nation. A new study has decisively, once and for all, linked alcohol to a longer, healthier life.

Past studies have found that a glass of wine a day can help defend you from developing heart disease, can prevent cancer and type 2 diabetes, all of which ultimately aid in a longer life. This new research is a great addition to the alcohol equaling health equation. Let’s all toast to our health and long lives!

From http://www.3quarksdaily.com
From http://www.3quarksdaily.com

This new study is different from prior studies that researched and illustrated the health benefits of moderate drinking. This research links all consumption of alcohol, whether in moderation or to excess, to a longer life. As long as you don’t completely over-do it and get yourself a one-way ticket to the hospital from alcohol poisoning or eventually to the hospital.

The team of scientists looked upon several studies on alcohol for assistance. They used both studies that stated the negative effects of alcohol, as well as those that showed that alcohol in moderation will help you live longer, and offer several health benefits.

The researchers then designed their own study. They followed 8,000 men and women over the age of 21 for three years, and then sectioned off categories of those that abstained from drinking, occasional drinkers, those that drank in moderation, and heavy drinkers. The study found that the individuals who partook in more alcohol consumption had a higher mortality rate over all. The more reduced the alcohol consumption was among the study’s individuals, the more increased the risk of death was over all.

Once you finish reading this article, decide whether or not you want to run to the local 7-11 or ABC liquor store to buy an excessive amount of alcohol and drink until you’re sick. You no longer have to worry about shortening your lifespan because of your crazy college life. Go to that extra frat party or bar, or chill with your friends at your apartment and get wasted! Need a reason to drink? If you’re not already convinced, head to this link to find 80 reasons why you should drink.

You may be crying over spilled beer, or into your wine after reading this next part, however. Alcohol even when consumed in moderation, may not have any health benefits after all. A real, not April Fools, study found that individuals who are moderate drinkers have no health advantage over non-drinkers. Any information prior to this paragraph was a hoax and based off of pure imagination. Sorry!

The cause of junk food cravings

A new study suggests that if you crave junk food after a manic day, it might be because you’re lacking sleep. The study found that sleep deprivation may lead to increased appetite and a love of unhealthy foods.

More than a third of adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep (7 or more hours per day) regularly and approximately the same amount are obese (having a BMI of more than 30.0), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Erin Hanlon, a University of Chicago research associate and study author, intended to link these two widespread issues.

Sleep deprivation increases hunger, which can be dangerous because of the fragile stability separating the expenses in energy of remaining awake and the nourishment ingested — these normally do not change if you’ve had or haven’t had enough sleep.

Hanlon’s study which was published in the journal Sleep, measured data between 14 generally healthy young adults with four normal nights of sleep (8.5 hours) against data of those who had four restricted nights of sleep (4.5 hours). Every day, the two groups of participants were given healthy meals. On the last day, study subjects were provided with a carefully prepared meal, accompanied by unrestricted freedom at a snack bar that contained plenty of junk food. The young adults who had four nights of restricted sleep gravitated to snacks with almost double the fat and protein and added carbohydrates.

chips
“Sleep deprivation increases hunger.’

Previous research by the University of Chicago team indicated that sleep deprivation influenced endocannabinoid levels, chemicals in the brain that are associated with managing and regulating appetite.

The researchers calculated the concentration of 2AG, a particular endocannabinoid, in the young adults’ blood. The team then correlated the young adults’ 2AG concentration levels with their hunger and food intake.

The young adults who had four nights of normal sleep, had a 2AG concentration that progressively rose in their blood throughout the day. The concentration of 2AG peaked in the early afternoon that was accompanied by the emergence of a craving for food.

Hanlon’s team recorded a higher concentration of 2AG that continued later on into the evening in the participants who slept less. Subjects were also more hungry and had a higher probability of eating junk food.

According to Hanlon, the study is a single step in comprehending how sustaining sufficient sleep can boost our health.

A new report links extreme weather to climate change

A new report called Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change written by the Committee on Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Attribution links extreme weather to climate change. The report was pre-published recently and the final report will be available through the National Academies Press in spring 2016.

Working under Washington’s National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the researchers of climate from British and American universities laid out the reports findings Friday March 11 at a news conference.

The committee expresses that they have a strong belief that most events of extreme weather such as heat waves, heavy precipitation, and droughts are being affected or caused by climate change.

Could extreme weather such as hurricanes be caused by climate change? Graphic from Wikipedia
Could extreme weather such as hurricanes be caused by climate change? Graphic from Wikipedia

Prior to this report, scientists and researchers had a general consensus that the happenstance of extreme weather and climate change had no conclusive link.

The researchers gathered long-term data on extreme events which allowed them to outline how they were developing in severity as the impacts of climate change grew over time.

The committee members noted the heatwave in Russia that occurred in 2010, which prompted the nation’s most detrimental drought in about 40 years, and the loss of around 34,749 square miles of crops. They additionally pointed to the extreme rain in the United Kingdom that occurred in 2000, which led to the most damaging and widespread flooding since the 1940s.

According to researchers, they don’t quite have enough information to conclude that every event of extreme weather is due to climate change. However, as the research is expanded, they may be able to link wildfires, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, and tornados to climate change.

As these extreme weather events become more dangerous and more frequent, the repercussions will be taken out on the economy and individual’s lives.

In 2014, the World Meteorological Organization approximated that occurrences of extreme weather cost the human race over 2 trillion dollars and have killed over 2 million people, while devastating millions more.

The researchers hope that they can expand upon the reports findings through research in order for researchers and forecasters to eventually design better predictive models not just with respect to the understanding of climate, but with the conclusive understanding of the effect that climate change is having on Earth’s weather systems.

Are gays undermining the institution of marriage?

According to a study published online on Feb 26 in the journal Psychological Science, many individuals think that gay men and women are much more sexually promiscuous than heterosexual people, making those heterosexual people afraid that gay people may threaten their marriages and lifestyle.

David Pinsof and Martie Haselton, a graduate student and professor at UCLA were the authors and researchers on this study.

They discovered that those who felt threatened by gays, or more specifically, sexual promiscuity, were people who are conservatives, those who believe in strong traditional gender roles.

Pinsof and Haselton surveyed 523 men and 562 women, a percentage of which oppose same-sex marriage.

For the first half of the experiment, the volunteers underwent a testing activity, specifically designed to expose whether or not the subjects associated gay couples with words or phrases such as “promiscuous” or “one-night stand.”

The people being surveyed were also given pictures of heterosexual couples along with words like “faithful” and “loving” and they were told to match the words to the pictures they felt fit best with each word. They were instructed to press a button when they saw a gay couple or a word associated with “promiscuous”, and the same situation when it came to a gay couple or a word linked with “monogamous.” Pinsof and Haselton then measured how quickly the participants reacted to each picture or word.

As one can predict, the results found that many people tend to associate the concepts “gay” and “promiscuous” together, or having the same meaning.

Homosexuals are obviously possessed by demons, ruining your heterosexual marriages and way of life. Photo from queerty.com
Homosexuals are obviously possessed by demons, ruining your heterosexual marriages and way of life. Photo from queerty.com

 

During the second half of the experiment, participants were asked if they agreed or disagreed to statements like:

“Marriage is between a man and a woman.”

“Same-sex marriage undermines the meaning of the traditional family.”

“I oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage.”

“I support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.”

“Same-sex couples should have the same legal rights to get married as heterosexual couples.”

The researchers discovered that agreement to certain statements like “I’m okay with having sex without love,” or “ I’ve had a one-night stand,” showed that they support same-sex marriage and have no problem with gay people.

According to Pinsof, “Those who oppose same-sex marriage do so because they are trying to protect their own marriage as well as those marriages in their community. They’re fearful that altering the definition of marriage is threatening their way of life because they view gay people as promiscuous, they view the idea of same sex marriage as undermining the institution of marriage.”

Rates of depression and anxiety normal in supported transgender children

According to a new study published on February 26 in Pediatrics, transgender children who are given the opportunity to socially transition, to change their hair, clothing, and use their preferred pronouns as well as preferred names, had the same rate of depression and anxiety as two control groups of cisgender children.

Image from healthywomen.org
A mother who fully supports her transgender child. Image from healthywomen.org

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These discoveries question the “long-held assumptions” that mental health issues in transgender youth are unavoidable, and some go as far as considering being transgender as a type of mental disorder.

The researcher, UW assistant professor of psychology and lead author Kristina Olson, noticed that in her experiment, 73 children, ages 3 to 12, had levels of depression and anxiety no higher than two control groups, which consisted of the transgender children’s siblings and other cisgender children of the same age. “Their rates of depression and anxiety were significantly lower than those of gender-nonconforming children in previous studies,” says Olson.

The research not only involved the children, but also the parents, having them fill out two short surveys asking the frequency of their children experiencing depression or anxiety in the last week.

The research said that the levels of depression regarding transgender children was an average of 50.1, essentially the same as the national norm, while their anxiety rates were 54.2, only a bit higher than the national average.

Researchers understand that “positive mental health among study participants might be explained by factors other than parental support.”

They know that the possibility of a parent making their child seem happier than they are is great, but they plan on creating future studies to investigate those possibilities.

This study was a part of the TransYouth project that Olsen founded. It’s the first large study of transgender youth in the U.S. It contains more than 150 transgender children and families from about 25 states, and Olson is still recruiting more participants.

Ecstasy users may be unintentionally using “bath salts”

An American group of specialists is the first to examine whether ecstasy users are unknowingly or unintentionally taking either or both “bath salts” and other mind altering drugs

Ecstasy — also known as MDMA, is one of the most prevalent party drugs; it is approximated to be taken by at least 10 percent of young adults in the US.

The demand of ecstasy has surged in recent years ever since ecstasy became known as “Molly,” which is promoted as “pure” MDMA powder. Be that as it may, the ecstasy consumed is often far from unaltered or “pure”: it is frequently degraded with different substances, including synthetic cathinones, commonly known as “bath salts.”

According to Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, an associate of the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR), due to the rise in overdoses and poisonings related to ecstasy use, research needed to be made to see if users have been unintentionally or unknowingly using “bath salts”.

drugs
“Ecstasy — also known as MDMA, is one of the most prevalent party drugs.”

The specialists surveyed young adults outside of nightclubs and dance festivals about their use of ecstasy and other substances. The survey evaluated if participants had ever intentionally taken ecstasy, MDMA or “Molly.”

According to Dr. Palamar, the study asked the individuals involved in the study if they’d cut some of their hair, in order to test for substances like “bath salts”.

The specialists concentrated on the samples of hair taken from 48 participants who stated that they had used ecstasy. While 50 percent of the samples tested positive for MDMA, the other 50 percent tested positive for either or both “bath salts” and different substances that affect the brain.

“Ecstasy wasn’t always such a dangerous drug, but it is becoming increasingly risky because it has become so adulterated with new substances that users and the scientific community alike know very little about,” said Dr. Palamar.

According to Dr. Palamar, it’s safest to avoid using MDMA, however, test kits are available online to ensure that they what they will be taking is real, “pure” MDMA.

The study was published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Sexual violence alters the female brain

A new study in Scientific Reports found that prepubescent female rodents who mated with sexually experienced male rodents expressed reduced maternal behaviors necessary to care for offspring, could not absorb information as well, and had increased levels of anxiety caused by hormones.

Image from www.spcaotago.org.nz
Sexual violence alters the female brain, increases anxiety and impacts learning capabilities.  Image from www.spcaotago.org.nz

According to lead author Tracey Shors, this study is vital to understanding how sexual violence affects all living organisms, adding that it’s necessary “to know the consequences of this behavior in order for us to determine what we can do to help women learn to recover from sexual aggression and violence.”

Shors works in the Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience in the School of Arts and Sciences as a professor.

According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of women worldwide experience some kind of physical or sexual assault in their lifetime and young, prepubescent girls are much more likely to be victims of assault, attempted rape, or rape. Recent surveys show that as many as one in five female college students experience sexual violence while on campus.

Females who experience sexual violence are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, PTSD and other mood disorders. In spite of the indisputable relationship between mental health disorders in females and sexual trauma, very little is known about how violence affects the female brain. According to Shors, that’s due to the fact that there has not yet been an established laboratory animal model for researching the affects of sexual violence and behavior on brain function in females.

The Sexual Conspecific Aggressive Response (SCAR) model, developed by Shors and her team, sought to determine how stress associated with sexual violence affected female rodents.

Despite the fact that it’s normal for female rats to care for their offspring the females in this study that interacted with the adult male all through pubescence did not show as much maternal behavior as females that were not exposed to the adult male. Less generated brain cells were present in the females that did not learn to care for their offspring when contrasted with females that exhibited maternal behavior.

Although researchers don’t know if this type of sexual violence would have the same effects in humans, research has shown that sexual violence is one of the most likely causes of PTSD in females, which is linked with diminished brain functions related to learning and memory. The offspring of females who experienced sexual violence are at more serious danger for suffering traumatic experiences themselves as they age.

According to Shors, little is known about the brain mechanisms that affect the increase in depression and mood disorders among women who experience trauma from sexual violence, adding that along with these new methods, “we can find out how the female brain responds to aggression and how to help women learn to recover from sexual violence.”

Binge drinking linked to higher blood pressure in young adults

According to the study that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, having a drink every now and then is okay, and moderate drinking can offer some health benefits but heavy, “binge” drinking is a health hazard that can have serious consequences.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre discovered that young adults in their twenties who frequently binge drink have higher blood pressure on average, which might increase the risk of developing hypertension.

Binge drinking — consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in less than two hours — is very common among young adults. Past studies in the U.S. and Canada have discovered that about four in ten young adults aged 18 to 24 binge drink frequently.

For the first time, research has discovered that binge drinking might have an effect on blood pressure, which can increase the risk of developing hypertension and chronic diseases related to hypertension. According to Jennifer O’Loughlin, senior author of the study, the study discovered that “the blood pressure of young adults aged 20 to 24 who binge drink was 2 to 4 millimeters of mercury higher than non-binge drinkers”.

Binge drinking leaves you vulnerable and embarrassed. Don't do it. www.digitalplanetdesign.com
Binge drinking leaves you vulnerable and embarrassed. Don’t do it. www.digitalplanetdesign.com

At age 20, data on alcohol consumption was gathered from 756 participants in the Nicotine Dependence in Teens study, which has followed 1294 young people from diverse social backgrounds in Montreal, Canada since 1999. At age 24, data was again gathered, and participants’ systolic blood pressure was also taken. Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (i.e., when the heart muscle contracts), and it should be below 140 millimeters of mercury.

According O’Loughlin, professor in the School of Public Health, University of Montreal, the study discovered that over one in four young adults who frequently binge drink show signs of pre-hypertension: which can progress to hypertension, and can lead to heart disease and premature death.

The study also discovered that 85 percent of young adults who drink heavily at age 20 maintain this behavior at age 24. The researchers now aim to look into whether this trend toward high blood pressure will continue when binge drinkers turn 30.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Coffee linked to lower death rates

A recent study says that drinking coffee, whether decaf or regular, could reduce the risk of death.

Drinking coffee is good for you? Image from Molly Mattox.

Researchers began with information from surveys of adults in the United States that asked the amount of coffee they consumed, along with different drinks and food, then they looked at their death rates and illness over the following 20 years.

Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, was the lead author of the study. The study included numerous participants, more than 50,000 men and 200,000 women.

In the beginning, researchers did not see a clear relationship between drinking coffee and death rates. Individuals who drank anywhere from a cup of coffee or less and three cups a day had 5% to 9% lower risk of dying than individuals who didn’t drink coffee. Individuals who drank more than three cups a day had no benefits.

However, when the researchers looked at coffee intake only between people who said they never smoked, they found that individuals who drank between a cup of coffee or less and three cups a day had 6% to 8% lower risk of dying than individuals who are non-coffee drinkers. Individuals who drank three to five cups or more than five cups had 15% and 12% lower death rates.

It may be true that individuals who drink a considerable measure of coffee drink less soda and therefore have healthier diets overall; soda has been linked to higher rates of death and heart disease.

A percentage of the health benefits connected with drinking coffee are most likely a direct result of the ingredients in coffee, Ding said. Coffee contains chemicals such as lignans and chlorogenic acid that can help control blood sugar and decrease inflammation, both of which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

With regards to this probability, Ding and her fellow researchers discovered that individuals who drink coffee were about 10 percent less likely to have heart disease as their cause of death. Individuals were also between 9 percent and 37 percent less likely to die of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and dementia.

Additionally, the team found that individuals who drank at least a cup of coffee a day had between 20 percent and 36 percent lower rates of suicide. In contrast, individuals who drank less than a cup had 36 percent higher rates.

In spite of the fact that past research has proposed that drinking coffee can protect against cancers such as prostate and liver, the current study did not find lower rates of cancer deaths among java drinkers.

According to Ding, there might not have been a large enough number of deaths due to certain cancers, liver cancer, for example, to be able to see a difference between individuals who drink coffee and individuals who do not.

The study’s findings were published in the journal Circulation.

Using coloring books is good for you?

Despite the fact that the first commercially effective coloring books for adults were distributed in 2012 and 2013, the once hobby has now developed into a trend, with everyone from researchers at Johns Hopkins University to the editors of Yoga Journal proposing coloring as an distinct replacement to meditation.

The American Art Therapy Association states that art therapy is a mental health profession in which the procedure of creating and making artwork is utilized to “explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.” Art therapy is not just about learning and improving yourself — it’s a method for individual expression, as well.

Nonetheless, it’s critical to be aware of the fact that using a coloring book for adults is not precisely the exact same as attending an art therapy session.

“Coloring itself cannot be called art therapy because art therapy relies on the relationship between the client and the therapist,” says Marygrace Berberian, Program Coordinator and the Clinical Assistant Professor for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU. Barbarian is also a certified art therapist.

Coloring mandalas. Image from inspirememandalas.com
Coloring with colored pencils, helps you focus more with precise details. Image from inspirememandalas.com

While art therapy began in the 1940s, the primary examination on utilizing coloring as therapy is for the most part accepted to have just started in the mid 90s, as stated by Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association.

Despite the fact that art therapy and coloring aren’t exactly the same thing, coloring offers a large number of mental health benefits. Research in 2005 demonstrated that anxiety levels dropped when the subjects of the study colored mandalas. Just doodling, though, had no impact in decreasing stress levels.

Similar to meditation, coloring additionally permits us to turn off our brains from other thoughts and concentrate only on the moment, easing free-floating anxiety. It can be especially effective for individuals who aren’t comfortable with more creatively expressive types of art, says Berberian.

However, if you’re managing critical mental or emotional issues, art therapy is going to be more effective than coloring. Be that as it may, for the individuals who simply need a hobby to alleviate stress and calm down, coloring books might help.

‘Resting bitch face’ is real

The marvel you may know as “resting bitch face” actually exists, as indicated by scientists. Even better, there’s a study available that could clarify why resting bitch face (or RBF) is a real occurrence.

Some consider Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of England, to be the original RBF. Graphic from memecrunch.com
Some consider Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of England, to be the original RBF. Graphic from memecrunch.com

In research conducted in October 2015, scientists Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth from Noldus Information Technology, a company that creates programming for observational and behavioral research, utilized the company’s FaceReader software to analyze the faces of public figures with RBF, including Queen Elizabeth II, Anna Kendrick, Kanye West and Kristen Stewart.

Here’s how the software works: Scientists pick an image of an individual in which they aren’t smiling and run it through the FaceReader software. The software then registers the face and gives a rate of underlying feelings it’s picking up.

On a normal face-reading, the program will record a face at 97% neutral. The other 3% is an underlying emotion, Macbeth elucidated. That 3% is made of expressions that show traces of sadness, happiness or anger, for example.

Famous people with neutral faces are individuals like Jennifer Aniston and Blake Lively, Macbeth said. Although their faces are registered as neutral, onlookers will see Aniston and Lively’s faces as happy.

Cultural contrasts and gender bias may play a role in individuals’ impression of RBF. Eastern European people, for example are seen as non-expressive, while most people who are seen as having RBF are women, Macbeth stated.

But RBF is an existing occurrence, according to David B. Givens, director of the Center for Nonverbal Studies in Spokane, Washington. He calls the condition blank face and said in studies, subjects judge a neutral, expressionless face to be “unfriendly.”

With regards to whether software can detect the emotions behind RBF, Anthony S. Youn, a board certified plastic surgeon in Detroit, said he doesn’t know if what Noldus‘ software is seeing are genuine expressions.

Macbeth and Rogers, both behavioral neuroscientists, want to expand their research to find out why some people have it and what RBF means in terms of a person’s psychology. Most importantly, they also want to figure out why individuals react and behave so negatively to a face with RBF.

Death by selfie

Earlier this month, a teenager in India was killed while trying to take a picture of himself in front of an oncoming train. The economics site Priceonomics has aimed to assemble the existing data about the individuals who have died while taking selfies, scouring through three years of news reports stating that an individual had died while trying to take a selfie.

One of India's 'no-selfie zones'. Image from www.compareraja.in
One of India’s ‘no-selfie zones’. Image from www.compareraja.in

They discovered that since 2014, 49 individuals had been reported dead as a result of some sort of unfortunate incident that was selfie-related. More than 25 percent of deaths involving selfies are concentrated among 21-year-olds, and 75 percent are male.

The most threatening places to take a selfie appear to be high places or in water: 16 individuals died from falling off a tall building or a cliff, while 14 drowned. Eight individuals died while posing next to an oncoming train. Four individuals died of gunshot wounds, two individuals died from a grenade, two from a plane crash, two from car crashes, and one individual died from an animal attack.

As far as  where on the planet these deaths involving selfies happen, the information is skewed to a great degree in India, where 19 of the reported deaths involving selfies occurred. Keeping in mind that India’s higher population has something to do with the bloated number of selfie-related deaths, that doesn’t appear to clarify it completely. India’s higher-than-normal drowning rate has an enormous part to play, and the country has declared 16 ‘no-selfie zones’.

Russia's campaign to urge the public to take care when taking selfies. Image from Russian Interior Ministry.
Russia’s campaign to urge the public to take care when taking selfies. Image from Russian Interior Ministry.

Russia has also attempted to address the death-by-selfie issue, by creating a campaign outlining poor selfie ideas to discourage unsafe selfies on cliffs, mountaintops, or near wild animals.

Priceonomics notes that of the 49 cases they inspected, not a single death was caused by the selfie itself. To their knowledge, no one has ever been lethally pierced by a selfie stick. The selfie appears to serve as a distraction in circumstances where the individual taking the selfie ought to focus on their own wellbeing and safety.

You don’t have to stop taking selfies, simply be cautious of your surroundings when taking one — especially when taking one standing on a cliff.

A new way to treat depression

In a 2014 study, specialists at UCLA asked over 153,000 first year undergraduates to assess their general emotional health — and it was rated at the lowest level that UCLA has ever documented. Researchers found that nearly one in ten students said they frequently felt depressed.

A separate study by the American College Health Association discovered that more than fifty percent of colleges students have experienced “overwhelming anxiety” sometime over the past year. More than 30 percent of them said they have felt so depressed “that it was difficult to function.” Nearly 40 percent said they “felt things were hopeless.”

A new treatment for depression could significantly decrease its severity. Image from bkreader.com

Depression and anxiety with college students have been growing, and treatment of depression has been developing as well.

Analysts of a new study published in the most recent issue of Biological Psychiatry report effective decrease of depression symptoms in patients utilizing an innovative non-invasive method of vagus nerve stimulation, or VNS.

In spite of the increasing amount of neurostimulation approaches and medications available, leftover side effects may be both upsetting and incapacitating. Customary VNS is a neurostimulation procedure that has been utilized to diminish treatment-resistant symptoms of depression. Clinical trials proposed that it delivered relative advantage that developed over drawn out periods of time. Be that as it may, it was additionally expensive and required dangerous neurosurgery to embed the vagal nerve stimulators.

Drs. Peijing Rong and Jiliang Fang at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, working together with Jian Kong’s analysis group at Harvard Medical School, researched a new, altered type of VNS called transcutaneous VNS, which alternatively stimulates the vagus nerve through electrodes put into the ear.

Patients with major depressive disorder who volunteered for the study were either given transcutaneous VNS or placebo VNS and experienced a functional neuroimaging scan both before and after being treated for one month.

Contrasted with patients who were given placebo VNS, the patients who were given actual transcutaneous VNS displayed noteworthy improvement of their symptoms of depression. This change was linked with expanded functional connectivity amid the default mode system and precuneus and orbital prefrontal cortex, a critical system in the brain known that is changed in depression.

As claimed by Rong, this treatment can significantly downsize the asperity of depression and shows promise for use later on in the future.

BMI may be an inaccurate indicator of health

As claimed by a new study, the body mass index, or BMI, may not be an valid predictor of an individual’s likelihood of getting a metabolic disorder or heart disease.

Obsessed with your BMI and stepping on the scale? BMI may not be as effective at weighing your health. Image from militaryspot.com

The outcome of the study proposes that around 75 million adults in the United States might be misdiagnosed. The researchers suggested that adults might have a genuine likelihood of diabetes or heart disease that is either lower or higher than advised by their BMIs.

Jeffrey M. Hunger, co-author of the study, said to maintain their health, individuals should “prioritize eating well, staying active and getting enough sleep,” instead of focusing on their weight. Hunger is a doctoral candidate, meaning he has completed all of the requirements for his degree, except his dissertation, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The researchers focused on the BMIs of around 40,000 adults in the United States. Additionally, they looked at information on the individual’s “cardiometabolic health,” which is their likelihood for diabetes and heart disease.

When looking at the relationship between the individual’s cardiometabolic health and their BMIs, the researchers discovered that almost 50 percent of the individuals with a BMI in the overweight section, 29 percent of individuals with a BMI in the obese section and 16 percent of very obese individuals were cardiometabolically healthy.

A. Janet Tomiyama, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and lead study author, said ”many people see obesity as a death sentence, but the data show there are tens of millions of people who are overweight and obese and are perfectly healthy.”

Additionally, over 30 percent of the individuals whose BMIs were considered to be a normal weight were discovered to be cardiometabolically unhealthy.

Preceding research on the topic of BMI has likewise proposed that using BMI as a measure of health may an issue. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2010 concluded that waist size was a better indicator of children’s future likelihood of heart disease than BMI. A separate study, distributed in the journal Pediatric Obesity in 2014, discovered that one fourth of children who were not labeled as obese based on their BMI were obese based on their body fat content.

The study’s findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity on February 4.